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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...

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Old July 5th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #1
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I have been doing weddings now for about 3 years. (Just part-time work) I was wondering about how much I should be charging. This would be for the wedding & Recpt and early years. I use one cam (GL2) and edit with some cheap software (Ulead 10) I do take a lot of pride in my work and all my clents have been VERY sat with my work. Right now I charge between $400 and $700
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Old July 5th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #2
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As much as I'd like to tell you you should be charging upwards of $2000 I can't. There are so many factors that determine pricing it would be impossible for me or anyone to tell you what you should be charging but here are some things to take into account when determining your prices. (in no particular order)

Geographic area, demographics of that area, how many weddings take place in that area yearly, competition (what they do and what they charge) your experience in the business, the quality of your workmanship, what are you offering in your packages, what is your overhead*(we'll comeback to that one) what type of events are you trying to get (less expensive or highend). These are but some of the things to consider. Let's take overhead; you work from your home. GREAT! BUT you still have overhead and expenses. If you don't know what they are then how can you charge appropriately. Things like website,DVD stock, cases, tape stock, paper, rubberbands, paperclips, telephone; while some seems small it can add up and eat into your charges which in turn eat into your profits and while I can't speak for anyone else, I'm in business to make a profit. Oh yeah, advertising; might be business cards, letterhead, brochures, bridal shows, maybe a newspaper ad whatever-these all cost..l.some more than others.
I would suggest that you start by getting the pricing of the compettion in your area in particular the folks that put out the same type of package and work that you do. Figure out what you need to make not only the ends meet but to make a profit enough to live on without a fulltime job. Since you appear to be going on on a parttime basis you might charge a bit less but remember it doesn't matter if you're fulltime or not, the cost of doing business and the time involved is still the same.
Good luck,
Don B
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Old July 5th, 2006, 08:52 PM   #3
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For starters take everything Dan Bloom has said into consideration and then ask yourself how much you think your video is worth to the client. Let's say for argument sake... $1,000.

Now work out your Direct Costs to produce this $1000 video.

How many tapes d'you think you'll use per wedding? How much fuel will you put into the car - Batteries - Food - Electricity - Other Blank Media - Photo Paper - Ink - Music Rights and anything else you can think of that adds to the direct cost of producing the wedding video. Add 'em up... and let's say you come up with $40. Great! If you can do 50 weddings a year you'll be on $48,000 a year...

Not quite!

Ask yourself how much wages you want or realistically need to pay yourself per annum. Work out your hourly rate from this figure and multiply it by the number of shooting / editing hours you spend on each video. So let's say... $25000 a year (that's crap right - you're almost cutting the 48k in half), which on the basis of a 40hr week is $12 per hour. Now, let's say you spend 8hrs shooting and 24hrs editing & burning (you're efficient!!). That's 32hrs labour which is $384.

Add this number to your direct costs of $40 and we get $424.

Subtract this number from Cost of Sale. $1000 - $424 = $576 Gross Profit Margin. Well done - you have a 58% gross profit and you should always be aiming for at least 40% so that you can pay for advertising, insurance, allow for depreciation and repairs, pay your tax, your telephone bill, the new iriver from ebay, blah-blah-blah...

However, at these prices you will need to sell 65 weddings a year to meet your annual wage target of just 25k. Can you get by on 25k and can you secure 65 wedding dates and shoot and edit them? Will it really just take 32hrs labour on your part?

But you're doing this part-time and making some extra cash. And $700 is just that... hobby money. $1000 is hobby money. And any full-time pro charging this kind of money probably needs to go to business school.

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Old July 7th, 2006, 08:44 AM   #4
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My 2 cents

Garry, the above advice is great. The single greatest lesson I learned when I started in this business is that I have to pay for my quality. So if I want a better camera, better software addons ect, then the business should pay for it. To do that I quickly raised my prices after I started.

I think if you do a great job now, then maybe some addons such as another camera other equipment might be a good way to justify your raising your prices.

Of course what is said above about cost of living vs expenses will be invaluable if you decide to buy groceries doing this.
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
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Old July 7th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #5
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The biggest problem I see you have is your equipment. If your one camera breaks, you've just ruined someone's wedding and that's lost forever. You owe it to whom ever you charge to have lots of backup equipment.

With that said, if your work is that good and if your clients will pay more than up your prices. Without a legitamate business you may find it harder to get top dollar so you may end up lower than someone with a full time business with lots of expenses.

Hope any of this helped.....
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